What you need to know
- Google's Gemini Nano makes its way to Pixel 8 Pro with "Summarize in Recorder" and "Smart Reply in Gboard."
- Google is releasing the December 2023 feature drop to Pixel devices with new features like Video Boost and other camera updates.
- Pixel Watch owners can now unlock their Pixel smartphones using the smartwatch.
Google has rolled out the most awaited December 2023 feature drop for its Pixel phones, including the Pixel 8 Pro. The search giant has also announced its new advanced AI model Gemini, which comes in three sizes — Ultra, Pro, and Nano. The latter claims to be the "most efficient model" designed for on-device tasks, beginning with the Pixel 8 Pro.
Incorporation of the flexible AI model Gemini Nano on the Pixel 8 Pro brings brand new features to the handset, including "Summarize in Recorder" and "Smart Reply in Gboard." The former, as the name implies, summarizes your recorded conversations on-device, such as interviews and presentations.
Separately, the Recorder app can now transcribe in 28 new languages.
Furthermore, Google is bringing Smart Reply functionality straight to Gboard, allowing it to be utilized in several messaging apps, with WhatsApp among the first to incorporate the feature and more apps likely to follow next year. Thanks to Gemini Nano, the reply suggestions in the app are also generated on-device. The feature on Gboard is currently available in developer preview, and when using the English keyboard for the U.S.
New camera features
In addition to these new Gemini-powered features for the Pixel 8 Pro, several other elements are coming through the December 2023 feature drop for Google's Pixel lineup. That includes the new Video Boost feature announced during the Pixel 8 launch, which helps users adjust color, lighting, stabilization, and graininess after the device's videos are uploaded to the cloud.
Similarly, Night Sight Video on the Pixel 8 Pro will utilize AI-prowess to reduce noise in videos shot in low-light scenarios. The Night Sight is also coming to time-lapse shots taken in low light on the Pixel 8 series, something we've seen with the latest Pixel Camera update that has already begun rolling out.
Google is also enhancing some existing camera features, with better Portrait light in Google Photos to better balance lighting in images, and an improved Photo Unblur, which now works better with pets.
Pixel Fold is also getting useful camera tools like Dual Screen Preview, which lets the subject preview themselves on the cover screen while the user takes the photo. This is a handy feature that helps the subject better orient themselves while the image is being taken.
The Pixel Fold, alongside the Pixel 6 series and above, will also be able to use their cameras as USB webcams for their computers.
Another significant feature of document scans is the ability to remove smudges, stains, and creases on the scanned documents. Editing the documents only takes a few taps through the Camera app.
Everything else in the December Pixel feature drop
Aside from camera-relates updates, Google is also bringing new features and enhancements to other areas. Google Password Manager can now "identify which of your accounts support passkeys and help you add them with just a few taps."
The company is also rolling out a Repair mode, so Pixel owners can now worry less when they give their devices to a repair or service.
Call Screen gets an upgrade for the Pixel Fold, Pixel 6 series, and above, as the Google Assistant will now suggest contextual replies instead of taking calls alone. The Call Screen feature is also now available on the Pixel Watch for added convenience.
The long-awaited Watch Unlock feature is also arriving for Pixel devices. The Pixel Watch can unlock your Pixel phone when it's nearby, which can come in handy when you cannot access biometrics such as Face unlock.
Clear Calling is now coming to the Pixel Tablet to enhance your voice during calls while reducing background noise. Pixel Tablet is also gaining spatial audio support through its speakers and when paired with Pixel Buds Pro.
As part of the December feature drop, the Clock app will now display weather conditions via a widget or when viewing the World Clock tab in the Clock app, which should help you better plan your day accordingly and can potentially be helpful during travel so you know what to expect.
Lastly, the first-gen Pixel Watch is gaining some Pixel Watch 2 features, such as the ability to sync Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Modes between the watch and smartphone. The first-gen Pixel Watch will also have access to the Adventure and Analog Arcs watch face designs and newer complication styles to better customize your smartwatch.
The aforementioned features and productivity tools, alongside customization, will be rolling out today on Pixel phones, Pixel Tablet and Pixel Watches.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.